LACONIA — The Planning Department will host public meetings this evening to seek opinion from the general public about plans to improve the drainage and landscape the space at the so-called "concrete courtyard" near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Main Street.
The meetings at City Hall will begin at 5 p.m. with a presentation of the proposed plan followed by an open discussion between 6 and 7 p.m. and closing with a second presentation of the plan at 7 p.m. for those unable to attend the earlier presentation.
Known as "Water Street Extension," the area includes the paved area beginning at the shops along Vintage Row and extending past the McIntyre Building, which houses New England Porch Rockers, and along the of the vacant commercial space next door to Bootlegger's shoe store. The plan also includes improvements to the expanse of pavement on Main Street south of its intersection with Pleasant Street.
Last year, when the water main at the location was replaced, excavation revealed an abundance of underground utilities close to one another, effectively precluding the installation of underground drainage.
Instead, Loureiro Engineering Associates Inc. of Manchester has designed a series of "rain gardens," or landscaped islands bounded by walkways that will capture storm water to improve drainage. The island would include benches as well as a table with seating creating what Planning Director Shanna Saunders calls a "pocket park." In the paved area along Main Street, where there are already trees, the areas around them would be enlarged to accommodate additional plantings and benches.
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